Feeling human again

It's been a while since I wrote about Judah and how things have been going with him. So I guess it's time for an update. I think things were looking pretty dark last time I wrote about being a mother. After Judah was born, things were very very ugly for a while, like two months or so. Post partum hit me really hard, and I had a bad time of it because of my pride. Even though I don't generally see depression in others as weakness or anything like that, that's exactly how I saw it when it came to me. In the past I've always been on top of my feelings and I haven't let things get me down. So I was really frustrated and angry that I couldn't get on top of the depression, and I felt like I was a failure because I couldn't. I felt like I should be strong enough to handle it, and I should be able to think my way through it. Guess what? Sometimes that's not possible.

We have a friend who says, "When in doubt, medicate." I never thought I'd need it and I didn't want it, but thank the Lord for Zoloft. My wonderful, understanding doctor prescribed it for me when I went in to his office and couldn't even work up the strength to really even tell him what I was going through. So he said it all for me, better than I could have. He said, "You've been looking forward to having this baby and thinking it would be wonderful, and now he's here and you feel like it's not such a good thing and your life is over." And I started crying for about the 18th time that day. I had been going through hell, and the guilty feelings were killing me. I'd look at Judah and feel like he deserved so much better than me, like he deserved a mother who would love him more and be less selfish. Honestly, I think all the weight I lost after he was born was water weight from all the crying.

Things have gotten SO MUCH BETTER. I feel like a normal person again. I can laugh, I can be with a group of people without feeling isolated, I can be content to stay home with Judah and not feel trapped. And I can love my baby so much it hurts sometimes. I enjoy him so much more now. He's so cute! His personality is really developing, and I think he finally is getting used to being in this world. He's sleeping through the night most of the time now, and that's a huge deal. Until about a week ago he cried literally every time I put him down and wouldn't stop until I picked him up again, and he couldn't sleep on his own during the day. I had to hold him for every nap. People thought I was exagerating when I told them this, but I really wasn't. I honestly held him ALL DAY for three months. I have tendonitis in my left arm to prove it. But last week Judah passed the milestone of being able to roll from his back to his front (he's been going from front to back since he was 5 weeks old), and it's made all the difference in the world. He's content to play on the floor with his stuffed animals and books now for a while, and he's been taking LONG naps in the afternoons in his crib. Such a relief! He smiles at us a lot, and the other day he began laughing, and he talks all the time (but only in the language of vowels). We've taken him swimming several times, and he's been to the Orange County Fair twice and was an angel both times. We're having so much fun with him, finally.

I'm not sure what prompted me to share all this, rather than just giving a quick "things are fine and I'm better" update. I think it's because I've seen others around me suffer from post-partum depression and not get the treatment they need soon enough. I guess I feel like I should share my experience if there's even the slightest possibility that it will help someone else. Thanks for praying for me, those of you that have been. I appreciate it so much, more than you'll ever know.

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